Series of Eight History Programs to Focus on Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ga. The history of Columbus and the region take center stage in Red Clay, White Water and Blues, a series of eight upcoming programs organized by a Columbus State University history professor.

We hope this series of local history programs will inform our citizens both old Columbus and newcomers about past people and events, said Virginia Causey, associate professor of history at CSU. We want to provoke a dialogue between the past and present, a civic conversation that will help us understand and be prepared for what the future may hold.

Causey will moderate the hour-long programs planned for 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month from October 2006 through May 2007. The programs will feature speakers with a special knowledge of topics that comprise vivid chapters in Columbus history. All programs are free and open to the public. Locations vary.

On the Saturday following each Thursday night program, interested participants will be able to board a CSU bus, also at no charge, and visit historic sites and other locations related to that months topic.

Topics, locations and speakers for the first half of the history series include:

Creek Indians in the Chattahoochee Valley, Oct. 5, Chattahoochee Indian Heritage Site at Fort Mitchell, Ala., Kathryn Braund, history professor at Auburn University, and Billy Winn, a former Columbus Ledger-Enquirer editor, both authors of books on the Creek Indians. (Bus transportation will be provided. Board the CSU bus in front of the Columbus Public Library by 6:15 p.m., and the bus will return to the library parking lot at the conclusion of the program, about 9:15 p.m.) Winn will lead Saturdays return trip to Fort Mitchell, leaving from Columbus Public Library at 10 a.m. Oct. 7 and returning about noon.

The Textile Industry in Columbus, Nov. 2, Comer Auditorium in the Bibb City area of Columbus, retired CSU history professor John Lupold, and a panel discussion on recent textile mill renovations featuring Mat Swift of the W.C. Bradley Company and John Barwick of River Mill Data Management. Lupold, author of three books related to Columbus history, will lead the Nov. 4 bus tour of sites important in Columbus textile history, leaving at 10 a.m. from Columbus Public Library and returning about noon.

The Civil War, Dec. 7, Port Columbus Civil War Naval Museum, Matt Young, director of education and programs at the museum, and Mark Wetherington, a Louisville, Ky., historian whose writings have focused on Civil War-era Georgia. Young will lead the Dec. 9 tour of Civil War sites in Columbus, leaving from the library at 10 a.m. and returning by noon.

The River, Jan. 4, Columbus Museum, a panel comprised of: John Turner, a local businessman who advocates breaching two dams and returning the Chattahoochee River to its natural state; Bill Edwards, executive director of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, an environmental advocacy organization; and Billy Turner, director of the Columbus Water Works and a key player in river-related water supply issues. Tour details will be announced later.

February-May programs will focus, respectively, on African-Americans in Jim Crow Columbus, Women in Music and Theater in Columbus, Fort Benning and Famous Murders.

CSUs partners in the programs, funded mostly by the Georgia Humanities Council and the CSU Foundation, are the Historic Columbus Foundation, Columbus Public Library, Columbus Museum, Port Columbus Civil War Naval Museum, National Infantry Museum, Springer Opera House, Liberty Theatre, Friends of Ma Rainey, Chattahoochee Indian Heritage Association, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, CSUs Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, write Causey at Causey_Virginia@ColumbusState.edu or call 706-327-5932. ###